Swami Yukatmananda’s Words of Wisdom

     When I had brought up Hindu life in America vs. in India with Swami Yuktatmananda, he was very compassionate toward both. The first thing he discussed with me was his literary studies. They consisted of Confucius, Swami Vivekananda, Socrates, Walt Whitman, Bergson…He is very eclectic from East to West.

     When it came to spirituality, he said that it wasn’t entirely right to say that Hindus are more spiritual than Americans. I looked at him in disbelief from his voice, and I think he noticed, because he asked me how much attention I was paying to the people sitting around me when I had gone to Buddha’s birthday, because many of them were Americans, and that I had put most of my focus on the words in the service alone rather than the spirituality given off by the different groups of people sitting next to and around me.

     He had told me, “passion is passion from East to West”. With poetry that represents love, if the different languages were removed, Occidental and Oriental love poetry is the same.

     Hinduism has been more established in America than it has been in Europe. There are Hindu cults, such as the Ramakrishna movement, there’s the Oriental cults, partly from Hindu origin, such as Buddhism and Sikhism. There are Hindu cultural movements, professors and students, and their influence on Western thought in thinkers like Emerson.  

     Emerson’s journals show he was reading the Bhagavad Gita and essays on the Vedas. Emerson was strongly influenced by the Vedas, and much of his writing has strong shades of nondualism (things appear distinct while not being separate).

     Swami Yuktatmananda left me with this, which was pretty amazing, because it was something I had my eyes opened to in one of my Lives of Hinduism lectures…”Hinduism in America cannot be completely understood without the knowledge of certain facts relating to the history of past and present achievements.” 

     Think about it. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Swami Yukatmananda’s Words of Wisdom


The Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of NY is equipped quite nicely with a variety of different seminars, classes, lectures, and services.

On Sunday mornings at 11:00 A.M., Swami Yuktatmananda conducts services and lectures on spiritual topics of great practical importance. Some include Spiritual Transformation, The Message of Self-Knowledge, Guidelines for Mature Living, Harmony of Religions, The Problem of Suffering, Christ and His Message, Buddha and His Way.

Swami Yuktatmananda joined the monastic Order of Sri Ramakrishna in Bangalore, India, in 1978 and was ordained a monk in 1988. In December 2007, after Swami Adiswarananda passed away, Swami Yuktatmananda took over as minister and spiritual leader of the Center.

On Tuesday evenings at 8:00 P.M., Swami Yuktatmananda conducts a class on The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, and on Friday evenings at 8:00 P.M., a class on the scriptures of Vedanta: The Upanishads, The Bhagavad Gita, The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, The Crest Jewel of Discrimination, The Works of Swami Vivekananda, The Teachings of the Direct Disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, just to list a few for those interested.

The Center also holds special services each year for Sri Ramakrishna’s Birthday, Holy Mother’s Birthday, Swami Vivekananda’s Birthday, Buddha’s Birthday, Sri Sri Durga Puja, Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter. The Choir of the Center performs traditional hymns and songs, both Western and Eastern. All the services and classes of the Center are free and open to the public, a wonder for those who show great interest in these teachings. It’s amazing and worldly of Swami Yuktatmananda to arrange special lectures and seminars at the Center for groups of students from colleges, universities, and other organizations. On special occasions, Swamis from other centers, spiritual leaders of different faiths, community leaders, and academicians are invited by Swami Yuktatmananda to speak at the Center.

The Center maintains a Library and a Bookstall for the benefit of the members and the public. The Library contains a large number of books and periodicals on Vedanta and other philosophical and religious systems of the world.

The Center also maintains the Vivekananda Cottage, a summer cottage at Thousand Island Park, New York, in which Swami Vivekananda lived and taught for eight weeks in the summer of 1895. Usually, it is available during the months of July and August as a place of pilgrimage for devotees.

Swami Vikekananda was an unknown monk of India who suddenly leapt into fame at the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893, where he represented Hinduism. His vast knowledge of Eastern and Western culture and his deep spiritual insight made him an irresistible appeal to many Americans who had met him.

What did come as kind of a surprise to me is that the foundation is so willing to have people who  are  interested in their teachings come in and speak to them or observe, but when I had contacted them over the phone, it wasn’t quite like that. Both times I had spoken with them to come in for informal questions and curious conversation, I was told they’d prefer if I came in for a class or lecture instead to observe and get the information I wanted. I completely understand where they are coming from, and for me, that’s more for me to learn from. They were so kind and insisted I come to Buddha’s Birthday on May 10th to get a feel for their teachings and asked if I would stay after for refreshments to discuss observations and thoughts. They prefer experiencing the Center by becoming a part of it, rather than just getting a mere glimpse. First-hand experience is the best learning technique.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “Visiting”

Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York

   The Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York, on 17 East 94th Street, is an accredited branch of the Ramakrishna Order of India. It was incorporated into the Order in 1933 as a non-profit religious organization under New York State laws. There is a temple located in New York City and another at the summer cottage at Thousand Island Park, New York.

   The Center is a self-sustaining unit that looks to the Ramakrishna Order for spiritual guidance. Its Swami (Minister), is a monk of the Order. The Center bases its teachings on the System of Vedanta, which combines religious and philosophical ideas of the Hindus.

   Vedanta teaches that every soul is potentially divine, and that its divinity can be manifested through worship, contemplation, unselfish work, and philosophical discrimination. Truth is universal and all humankind and existence are one. Vedanta also preaches the unity of ultimate Reality and accepts every faith as means for its own followers to realize the Truth.

The Center seeks to stimulate the growth of the individual’s innate spirituality through lectures, discourses, publications, and individual guidance. 

Founder, Swami Vivekananda, taught that true religion results in transformation of character. He said, “Religion is the idea which is raising the brute unto man, and man unto God.” When we have no higher goal of life, our divine nature remains veiled from us. All great teachers have declared that manifestation of divinity is the goal of life and our greatest challenge; to rid our thoughts and actions of selfishness.   

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York

Hello world!

Welcome to Blogs@Baruch. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hello world!